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The Next Step Towards Free Internet and True Open Source

By winthrop.polk ·
This discussion started as a question here:
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Okay, so the new mission of this discussion is to set up a plan to provide practically free internet to the world or to, at a minimum, force ISPs to lower there price to a much lower level which will still be profitable for them (figure $7/month for high speed).
I think we, as a community of technical experts, can accomplish this. Here is my plan, open for discussion.
We need to first assume that we will not be able to or even allowed to run any lines across the country. We have to assume the entire communications grid is owned by the telcos and we will have to rent bandwidth from them to connect to all the various sites. But we really only require one fast connection and a wireless system per area. This is the plan on how to get there.
Step 1: everyone turn off your security features on your home wireless network. Let people access the internet through your line, it's not illegal if you allow them to and you won't be held responsible for their actions. Configure your system to give much higher priority to your computers than everyone else?s, that way you don't experience performance issues but still provide full speed to users when your line is not in use, which is probably the majority of the day.
Step 2: Local communities need to set up a local infrastructure. New apartments, new neighborhoods, and other local communities should spend some money on a tower and powerful high-speed wireless system to provide free internet to there local communities (figure a 1 mile radius reliable broadcast). The homeowners group or similar organizations could then spend some money for the entire community for one high-speed connection. Security should be disabled at this access point, ideally.
Step 3: IT fellows should create a freeware program (later to be integrated into windows and OSx) that allows you to dynamically send and receive packets on multiple connections. It needs to detect the networks and determine quickly what routes to take for a given packet.
I don't know if anyone is familiar with Ham radio, but a lot of the ham repeaters already have this setup. We just need to expand it past the hobbyists. There are allot of free long range repeaters out there, every town has at least one. We need to expand all of these to allow internet traffic, paid for by donations, state/town contributions and such. Home wireless cards will probably require an amplifier and may require you to mount your antenna on your roof.
I would effectively call this new free global wireless network fgw: free global wireless. In the long run it will take on a life of its own, perhaps creating the breading grounds for a new independent internet.

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U R Nuts!

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to The Next Step Towards Fre ...

(1) Turn off security? THAT won't happen any time soon!

(2) Communities set up infrastructure? Yeah right! Maybe, after they make sure the schools have enough money, the homeless have a roof over their heads/food in their belly and the roads/bridges have all been repaired!

(3) Asking the IT community to do it for free? How about those engineers, such as yourself, who obviously don't need to make a living taking on the task?

(4) Copy the Ham Radio setup? OK, as long as everyone who uses the new 'FGW' system is licensed in the same way the Ham Radio community is licensed and the system can be taken over by the Federal government in cases of National Emergency!

In addition, if you want anyone to take you seriously, you should learn to use the spelling and grammar checkers which are freely available.


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Not crazy

by winthrop.polk In reply to U R Nuts!

I know that a setup like this is possible. I'm not saying it can be done over night. It would probably take 30 years to get everyone access to this network.

Security at the wireless transmitter doesn't do that much, it can be beaten fairly easily anyway. A higher level device, the host, has the majority of the protected.

Well, okay, I'm not expecting Anniston AL to spend this money upfront out of city funds. I am expecting hobbyist to make existing system viable for general use and then allow other organization to expand the system.

Fine, I would do it for free. I just have limited IT experience. I could design the protocols and frequency selection algorithms and general network topologies and release them as a free design guide for local communities. You don't like freeware or something?

The system should be able to be taken over in an emergency if they use ham frequencies. But ham frequencies aren't a necessity.

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You're Bonking MAD!!!

by cmiller5400 In reply to Not crazy

I just have limited IT experience.

Yup, it shows.

You are absolutely MAD to open your network up like that. What little security we have in place helps make it unreachable for the casual user, an experienced hacker may be able to crack it.

You ARE liable for what happens on YOUR network. Just wait till the FBI shows up at your door with a search warrant.

I do applaud your trying to bring down prices and the "Internet for Everyone" approach.

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I don't know.

by winthrop.polk In reply to You're Bonking MAD!!!

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that star bucks, the library, police stations and other organizations that use wireless internet would be responsible for a hacker who used their access point to do malicious stuff, whether they had security or not. If what you?re saying is true, then all people owning a wireless network are in trouble. Lots of hacker types break there passwords to use the connection illegally. I don't think the homeowner is or should be held responsible for this.

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Yes, a lot of people owning a wireless router are in trouble.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to I don't know.

As previously noted, law enforcement agencies don't know who's using the connection. If the ISP reports kiddie porn going through your IP address, it's going to be your problem proving to the authorities that it was someone else on your connection.

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by winthrop.polk In reply to Yes, a lot of people owni ...

I didn't think our society has failed us that much; this point where you have ?guilty until proven innocent?. Even the FBI knows it is highly likely the figurative person was just hacked, but they put the responsibility on them to prove their innocence. Unbelievable. Yet plausible deniability and executive privileges still exist for the wealthy. What a world.

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No your wrong Society has not failed that much

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Wow!

You are responsible for what comes through your Internet Connection so if you leave a WiFi Access Point Open and do not establish Black Lists which prevent certain sites being visited and downloaded from you are Guilty.

Plain & Simple.

A Crime has been committed and in the Case of Kidd Porn or even Terrorist Activity for example is the Owners Responsibility to Secure that Access Point and the Guilty Party is never going to willingly put their hand up and confess if they know that they can get away with a I didn't do it Excuse. All that they would be required to do if that was the case is to use a different computer like a NB and hide it then claim that they didn't do it.

The point here is you own that Access Point you are responsible for what comes through it just the same as you own that car and are responsible for what it does while you are in control of it. If you where to leave it on the side of the road with the car unlocked and the motor running and someone took it you are more responsible for what it does than if it was stolen after being broken into.

By leaving it on the side of the road unlocked with the motor running you have given consent for anyone to take it and do as they please where as if you secure it and it gets stolen you are not responsible for what it ends up being involved in.

In the case of Electronic Ownership you own the Access Point and everything that comes through it if you do not secure it. It is your responsibility to look after your items not someone else.

In the case of Starbucks and so on they do not just leave a WiFi Access Point open for all to use they employ Stringent Security and Black Lists which prevent the Listed Sited being visited or data downloaded from them. In the case of the Security Services when these sites are attempted to be accessed they will take lists of Identifying items to mark the Culprit and do everything possible to track down and Apprehend the Criminal.


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Bandwidth is always available for free, for the good of the public

by winthrop.polk In reply to U R Nuts!
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Sure, bandwidth is free

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Bandwidth is always avail ...

How do you plan to purchase the equipment to access it?

You assume that bandwidth will remain public and free. More likely the government will lease or auction off the use of that portion of the spectrum, using the income for the public good.

Water is free too, if you live by a river or lake. How do you plan to pay for the pipes to get it into the house?

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individuals will purchase there own accessing equipment

by winthrop.polk In reply to Sure, bandwidth is free

Like they purchase there modems and wireless cards today. I'm not saying I am going to provide anyone with free personal hardware, but free public hardware will be provided just as free ham repeaters (paid for by clubs with sponsors) and free radio signals (paid for by advertisers) are provided to the communities today.

There will always be free bandwidth within each spectrum section. Always! If not, people will have to broadcast on illegal frequencies to use walky-talkies, ham equipment, wireless telephones, CBs, wireless internet access, etc. These device all work on free portions of the spectrum, they just regulate the max power output allowed to minimize interference. Granted, you probably couldn't do this on the ham frequencies for the general public because of licensing requirements, but it is already setup in certain areas for hams to use. All that is needed is a frequency switch here to allow the general public to access the internet through these free towers. Granted, hams probably won't want to do this until the system is wide spread throughout the ham community and the speed of the internet takes another large leap, but it is doable; it's already being done.

In terms of the river analogy, it isn?t really relevant but, yes one could easily get free water. If you live by a lake or river, just run a pipe to your basement and add a small pump and water processing facility; add a carbon filtration system and I guarantee you will be getting cleaner water than the city provides. I would do this if I ever made it big. It would probably cost $20k-$40k not including the pipe run but would provide you with free cleaner water for life. Unfortunately, I doubt the government will allow you to do this just as they don't allow you to camp unless it?s a designated campground.

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